Selling to the Government

Federal, State, and Local Governments offer small businesses great business opportunities. Whether in manufacturing, construction, services, technology or R&D, the Government purchases everything from furniture to tanks – from tree planting to socks. Each level of Government follows their particular process to purchase. Businesses should become familiar with the procedures used by a particular Government entity and then determine if and how they can best compete.

The Federal government spends over $400 billion for goods and services per year. The Federal procurement process directs purchases to be set aside for small business and businesses owned by socially or economically disadvantaged individuals, women, service-disabled veterans, veterans, and businesses located in areas of high unemployment and low income.

The State of Wisconsin also buys a wide range of goods and services from facility construction and operations to Information Technology (IT) and laundry services. The State of Wisconsin does not have small business set-asides but does have a minority-owned and woman-owned certification program. Each state operates under its own procedures, rules, and processes.

Wisconsin Procurement Institute (WPI) is a non-profit organization established in 1987 by Wisconsin's Congressman Les Aspin. Its mission is to assist Wisconsin companies with Government contracting - helping firms successfully enter and develop their Government market segment.

Through events, seminars, and conferences, WPI helps businesses throughout the State. As the hosts of national and regional federal conferences, WPI brings new opportunities directly to our communities.

WPI works with large, small, well-established, and newly created businesses in the areas of manufacturing, technology, construction, research, IT and services. WPI works closely with Federal, State and Local small business programs to maximize the opportunities for disadvantaged, minority, woman, disabled and veteran-owned firms as well as those located in designated HUBzone and distressed areas.

VendorNet: The State of Wisconsin's VendorNet system provides easy access to a wide variety of information of interest to vendors who wish to provide goods and services to the state as well as state agencies and municipalities. Bidding and the time required to identify new vendors is minimized while vendors are automatically notified of opportunities in their area of interest. The VendorNet system does not include construction and related work and also does not include road and highway work.

US Small Business Administration (SBA): The US SBA administers a number of Federal small business contracting programs as well as the Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Programs. Small business participation is required in the federal contracting process – both at the federal agency and prime contractor levels.

Wisconsin Security Research Consortium (WSRC): WSRC will help lead companies through the process of applying for federal grants and seeking federal contracts. WSRC will spearhead efforts to apply for grants to conduct classified or sensitive research in areas where the federal government has identified a need.